As with most electronic devices, golf rangefinders have a lifespan, but their longevity will depend greatly on how often you use them , how they are used and maintained as well as where and how they are stored.
Most golf rangefinders where GPS or laser would have a lifespan of about three to five years, but they can survive a lot longer if they are well looked after, and some basic maintenance and upkeep is done like battery changes and being stored in cases.
With GPS and laser golf rangefinders, they each have different battery life and operational lifetime. We will look at each of these from both a battery life perspective and longevity and how to prolong their years of service.
How Long Do Golf Rangefinders Last
This discussion will look only at the golf GPS devices and not smartphones or tablets loaded with golf GPS apps and used on the course.
How Long Does A Golf GPS Battery Last
Depending on what rangefinder brand and model you buy, a golf GPS watch would have a battery life of between 10 and 25 hours in GPS mode or run between 2 rounds and four rounds of play.
On average, a GPS watch would run between 10 and 18 hours before needing to be recharged.
To make sure your GPS watch is fully charged and ready to play, you would need to charge it overnight or every few days, depending on the manufacturer’s recommended charging schedule.
You can also charge it on the way to your round if you see the battery is only charged halfway as most GPS watches will have a charging port that will connect to USB chargers, and they are also used to connect and download data to your computer or phone through the app.
How Long Does A GPS Watch Last
If you are prepared to take care of your golf GPS rangefinder watch, it can last a good few years and only need to be replaced if you upgrade to a newer model.
For the most part, these units also carry the default manufacturer’s guarantees, so if anything should fail during the warranty period, your GPS golf rangefinder can be replaced or repaired.
Most golf GPS watch rangefinders have more than just golf applications, like distance, yardage, elevation, slope, and green undulation readings; they also have functions like heart-rate and sleep monitors, pedometers, and also offer email, phone calls, and other standard phone functions.
This multifunctionality means that many golfers who buy a golf watch GPS rangefinder will also use it for other day-to-day functions. The decent quality watches can cost a few hundred dollars, so they would be looked after and (hopefully) treated with respect.
The only real risk of a golf GPS watch rangefinder living a shorter lifespan is if they get lost or fall off during a round or possibly get exposed to heavy rain – although most of the more modern units are waterproof.
A golf GPS watch rangefinder should last around five years or more if well taken care of with regular battery changes.
How Long Do Golf Laser Rangefinders Last
The laser rangefinders can last much longer than GPS watches as they have far fewer moving parts and are generally more robust than the GPS watches, plus their batteries would also last longer.
How Long Do Laser Rangefinder Batteries Last
Laser rangefinders run on internal batteries that can be replaced as they wear down. This means that a laser rangefinder will deliver much longer performance on a single battery than a GPS watch would do.
Laser rangefinders come with different batteries and voltages from 3V to 12V. They are available in normal, lithium, and alkaline batteries, and these have a lifespan of around 1-5 months, depending on the type and size of the battery.
This means that you would replace your batteries about twice a year, depending on how often you play. Most laser rangefinder batteries are not rechargeable, and you should never attempt to recharge them.
Compared to GPS watches, your laser rangefinder would last much longer on a single battery but remember that cold weather can reduce the battery life, so keep spares in your bag just in case.
How Long Do Golf Laser Rangefinders Last
These units are robust and can operate in most weather conditions without any adverse effects.
Keeping the rangefinder clean and storing it properly will go a long way to extending the unit’s lifespan and since most good quality units come with a protective case designed to protect them from accidental impact and weather.
Many golfers report having laser rangefinders that are more than eight years old and still going strong, and the newer units would last just as long, if not longer. Since the features on the rangefinder are mostly standard and don’t require downloads or updates, they will have a longer lifespan than a GPS golf rangefinder.
Another longevity benefit is that even the older laser rangefinders models are still going strong. Even though they have modern functionality, the laser accuracy and optical components don’t degenerate significantly with age.
The biggest threat to a laser rangefinder’s survival is the golfer leaving the unit in the car’s boot instead of storing it properly, accidentally dropping it on a hard surface, or falling out of the bag while playing.
Impact and optics don’t mix well, so if you invest in a laser rangefinder, ensure you have a secure place to store it so that it doesn’t fall or get lost.
When choosing your golf rangefinder, consider which one would be best suited for your game requirements as laser rangefinders are better for more accurate on course and practice, while the GPS golf watches have more course info and data.
GPS golf rangefinders, whether the watch-type or laser models, will last a good number of years provided they are looked after and maintained so you don’t have to worry about having to replace them every two years – as you may do with your driver or irons!